Philosophy of Yellowstone Financial Services
The role of a financial advisor is to implement a financial strategy that moves the client closer to their goal. Our process includes four steps.
1. Follow basic financial steps before investing.
There is an order to planning a successful financial life.
Create a written budget, and use it.
Pay off all debt, except a home.
Have an emergency fund of 3-6 months
Contribute 15 percent of income toward long-term savings.
Pay additional toward mortgage
Save for college expenses.
Give more than you normally would.
By following these steps, it will allow a family to plan for unforeseen emergencies that can disrupt a good financial plan. It is important to not “put the horse before the cart” or plans will be derailed much easier.
2. Make a good plan
Look at your current financial situation as it relates to insurance, investments, taxes, and your estate. Do they work together? Do they complement or contradict each other? A good plan simply means making sure that all aspects of your financial life are coordinated. Do you really need life insurance? Why type of retirement account is best for my savings? Should I have my spouse as a joint owner on my accounts? These are the types of questions that should be asked. As your advisor, I will make recommendations about your investments, but with the knowledge of your plans for taxes, insurance, and estate.
3. Invest with a “purpose”
Your investments need to match with the goal of the money. In other words, make sure that large financial goals are allocated to investments that will have the best possible growth. Conversely, don’t invest your short-term money in an investment that may lose money when you need it. If you’re looking for income from your investment, ensure that the investments are appropriately considered to provide that income. Everything in life has an ending date. Your investments are no different. Invest with your ending date in mind.
4. Reevaluate annually
It’s been said, “A good plan today, is better than a great plan, tomorrow”. It is very true. You have to start moving to get where you’re going. We all may decide to take some detours or stops along the way, but nothing happens until we move. So as you’re moving closer to your goals, stop and check your progress. Make sure that your plan from last year is still appropriate this year. Has anything changed? Job loss, marriage, divorce, inheritance, disability, and more. These are all major financial events that may require a “re-route” toward your goals.